UCLA football 2017 schedule preview: Stanford

Stanford’s JJ Arcega-Whiteside makes the touchdown grab against UCLA’s Nate Meadors during the final seconds to take the lead at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena on Saturday, September 24, 2016. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Orange County Register/SCNG)

UCLA at Stanford
Saturday, Sept. 23 | Stanford Stadium

The faces change, but the results likely won’t with David Shaw in charge: Stanford, even without Christian McCaffrey and Solomon Thomas, is still Stanford. The Cardinal stumbled off their Pac-12 champion perch last year, but don’t expect them to stay down for long.

With a stellar talent on defense, Stanford (10-3, 6-3 Pac-12 last year) is expected to challenge for the Pac-12 North again. On offense, the Cardinal have McCaffrey’s replacement ready, but are unsettled up front. Quarterback Keller Chryst, who won the starting job last October and led the Cardinal to six straight wins to end the year, is recovering from a knee injury suffered in last year’s Sun Bowl. He’s expected to return for fall camp, with Ryan Burns as the backup.

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Kenny Young on watch list for Butkus Award

Kenny Young was named to the watch list for the Butkus Award, which is given to the nation’s best linebacker. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star News)

UCLA linebacker Kenny Young added a second watch list honor to his preseason resume Monday as the senior was named to the watch list for the Butkus Award, which honors the nation’s top linebacker.

The middle linebacker earned second-team All-Pac-12 recognition last year. His 90 total tackles were second on the team, and he added 8.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, one interception and three fumble recoveries. He ranked sixth in the Pac-12 with 7.5 tackles per game.

Former UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks is UCLA’s only Butkus Award winner. The current Minnesota Viking claimed the trophy in 2014 after leading the nation in solo tackles per game with 7.8.

A list of the Bruins included on watch lists so far:

  • Josh Rosen (Maxwell — best college player)
  • Kenny Young (Bednarik — best defensive player, Butkus — best linebacker )
  • Scott Quessenberry (Rimington — best center; Outland — best interior lineman)
  • Austin Roberts (Mackey — best tight end)
  • Jaleel Wadood (Thorpe — best defensive back)
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UCLA football 2017 season preview: Memphis

Memphis head coach Mike Norvell, center, cheers his team’s effort in the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)

UCLA at Memphis
Saturday, Sept. 16 (updated) | Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
9 p.m. PT, ABC/ESPN2

Memphis is on the rise. The Tigers (8-5, 5-3 AAC last year) are 27-12 in the past three seasons. Head coach Mike Norvell didn’t lose much ground during his first year replacing Justin Fuente, who left for Virginia Tech after leading the Tigers to 10 and nine wins in 2014 and 2015, respectively. In a Group of 5 conference always ripe with underdogs, Memphis is gaining momentum as a contender for this year’s favorite sleeper.

“The fact that people are giving us attention is a compliment to our program and a compliment to the young men that we have in it and where we’re going,” Norvell told The Commercial Appeal. “But preseason expectations, they really don’t stand for anything unless you go out and do it on the field.

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UCLA football 2017 season preview: Hawaii

Dru Brown (front) returns as Hawaii’s starting quarterback after winning the job as a sophomore last year. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Hawaii  at UCLA
Saturday, Sept. 9 | Rose Bowl
2 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks

Hawaii grabbed most of its headlines this offseason by offering a scholarship to an 11-year-old quarterback. Now the Rainbow Warriors are also trying to make noise on the field.

As a rookie head coach last year, Nick Rolovich led Hawaii (7-7, 4-4 MWC last year) to its first bowl win since 2006. The Rainbow Warriors are now gunning for their first winning season since Greg McMackin’s 2010 squad that went 10-4 overall. Rolovich, a 38-year-old Hawaii alumnus, was the offensive coordinator for that team, running a system that combined the run-and-shoot and pistol.

The Bruins will be coming off a short week after a Sunday season-opener, but aren’t expected to face much trouble against a Hawaii team still rebuilding in Rolovich’s season year.

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UCLA unveils new Under Armour football jerseys

UCLA’s new football uniform is a tribute to the team’s past.

Released online Saturday morning, the UCLA football uniform uses the school’s traditional “Powderkeg Blue” and “Mighty Gold” on both the home and away jerseys, maintains the script UCLA decal with the tail on the helmet and includes Under Armour’s new branding.

The jerseys are not a vast departure of last year’s look, but have updated colors to fit Under Armour’s color palette. In an effort to streamline the athletic department’s brand, the company eliminated the use of navy on the white away uniforms, lining the UCLA stripe with Powderkeg Blue instead of navy on both the shoulder and white away pants. The Powderkeg Blue numbers on the white jersey also don’t have a gold outline, like last year’s away uniform.

READ: How Under Armour wrote the next chapter of UCLA

The home uniforms have Powderkeg Blue jerseys with gold numbers outlined in white with a gold and white shoulder stripe and gold pants.

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